Prelims 2021 Science & Tech

In Detail : Hepatitis

What is Hepatitis?

  • Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
  • The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.

Note: Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue.

Types of Viral Hepatitis

  • Viral infections of the liver that are classified as hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
  • A different virus is responsible for each type of virally transmitted hepatitis.
  • These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread.
  • In particular, types B and C are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Hepatitis Virus & theirs Details –

TypeTransmission modeSeverity levelAvailability of Vaccine
Hepatitis A (HAV)Contaminated food & water
Certain Sex Practices 
MildYes
Hepatitis B (HAB)Infective blood, semen, and other body fluids (STD)
From infected mother to infant at the time of birth or from family member to infant in early childhood
Acute to ChronicYes
All infants should get a shot as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. It, however, can be taken at any age  
Hepatitis C (HCV)Unsafe Injection Practice Transfusion of unscreened blood Sexual Practice & Bodily fluid (STD)Acute to ChronicNo
A vaccine for this has not been developed mainly because it’s a very fast-changing virus, though Medicines are available
Hepatitis D (HDV) Infections occur only in those who are infected with HBVSevereYes
Hepatitis E (HEV)Contaminated food & water Yes
but not widely available
Hepatitis

FactByte

  • Discovery of the Hepatitis B virus too was rewarded with a Nobel Prize in Medicine, given to Baruch Blumberg in 1976
  • Hepatitis B vaccine is part of Indian Vaccination program (Indradhanush)
  • Discovery of Hepatitis C virus (1982) rewarded with Nobel Prize in Medicine this year 2020, Given to Harvey J Alte, Charles M Rice, Michael Houghton (Read More)
  • India have comprehensive program to eradicate the Hepatitis C by 2030 named, National Viral Hepatitis Control Program

Hepatitis Global Scenario (Data Point)

  • According to the World Health Organisation, over 70 million cases and 4,00,000 deaths due to hepatitis are recorded worldwide each year. The disease is chronic and a major cause of liver inflammation and cancer.

Hepatitis in India

About National Viral Hepatitis Control Program

  • The National Viral Hepatitis Control Program has been launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on the occasion of the World Hepatitis Day, 28th July 2018.
  • It is an integrated initiative for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis in India to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 which aims to ending viral hepatitis by 2030.
  • This is a comprehensive plan covering the entire gamut from Hepatitis A, B, C, D & E, and the whole range from prevention, detection and treatment to mapping treatment outcomes

Aim

  • Combat hepatitis and achieve country wide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030
  • Achieve significant reduction in the infected population, morbidity and mortality associated with Hepatitis B and C i.e. Cirrhosis and Hepato-cellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
  • Reduce the risk, morbidity and mortality due to Hepatitis A and E.

Key Objectives:

  • Enhance community awareness on hepatitis and lay stress on preventive measures among general population especially high-risk groups and in hotspots.
  • Provide early diagnosis and management of viral hepatitis at all levels of healthcare
  • Develop standard diagnostic and treatment protocols for management of viral hepatitis and its complications.
  • Strengthen the existing infrastructure facilities, capacity building of existing human resources and raise additional human resources, where required, for providing comprehensive services for management of viral hepatitis and its complications in all districts of the country.
  • Develop linkages with the existing National programs towards awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment for viral hepatitis.
  • Develop a web-based “Viral Hepatitis Information and Management System” to maintain a registry of persons affected with viral hepatitis and its sequelae.

Components:

  • Preventive component
    • Awareness generation & behaviour change communication
    • Immunization of Hepatitis B (birth dose, high risk groups, health care workers)
    • Safety of blood and blood products
    • Injection safety, safe socio-cultural practices
    • Safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitary toilets
  • Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Monitoring and Evaluation, Surveillance and Research
  • Training and Capacity Building

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